BIBLIOPHILE: THE MOST IMPORTANT THING BY HOWARD MARKS “AWARENESS OF THE PENDULUM”

In the previous article, we have seen that everything moves in a cycle. And if we cannot able to understand the cycle, then we must pay for it. In this article, I am going to discuss on moments of the pendulum and how we can take benefits of its moments.

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what-is-oscillation_2

We have seen pendulum and its moments. Generally, pendulums do not always remain to the extremes, majority time pendulum stays near to its main point. And whenever pendulum moves towards its extreme then again it will come back towards either extreme. The force of the swing of the pendulum itself responsible for its reversal.

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Generally, our behavior towards the situation is responsible for the swing of the pendulum towards extremes and also responsible for coming back towards its mean point. Investors see the situation with either greed or fear and reach to the conclusion. When people are greedy, they become more optimistic toward the situation and they want to pay any premium for getting that situation favorable. Vice-versa, when people feel fear, then they are not ready to buy the stock at the cheapest value.

Excess greed creates risk taking behavior and excess fear creates a risk aversion among the people.

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As there are two major risks in investing – 1) Risk of losing our capital and, 2) Risk of losing opportunities. But when pendulum moves towards the extreme end, then one of the above risks will dominate our investment decisions.

When pendulum at extreme bullish situation then

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And when the pendulum nears to the extreme bearish situation then

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When things happen in a good manner, then people become more greedy and confident about the situations which bring optimism towards the particular situations. People forget the involvement of risk and ready to pay anything for getting the assets. Vice-versa when things not happening in a good manner, then people are more fearful towards the situations and realize the inherent risk. Such situations bring bargains for the assets.

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Sugar prices

Sugar stocks

We can able to see that when prices of sugar were low, people not ready to make an investment in the sector, etc. at such situations provide us a bargain opportunities and when things start getting well, we can able to make a good return. Vice-versa when everyone knows about the story, then that story is there in the price. We cannot able to make an abnormal return or chances are high to lose of our capital.

Wise people recognize the bargain first, then others will follow them and run behind the assets for buying it at any premium price.

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We have seen three phases of the bull market. As similar to it, the bear market also has three phases.

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When everyone fears with the negative news, events and they start thinking that such worst situations remain forever. Major bottom occurs over such situations. When everyone forgets that tide can again come in and such situations provide us a bargain opportunity. Vice-versa when everyone thinks that good time never going to end and they can generate higher returns easily, people forget that tide can go out then major top gets formed.

SENSEX

Those people who understand swing of the pendulum then they have protected their capital as well as made the huge return during the year 2009 and year 2014.

When everyone fears from the situations and think such worst remain forever. When such situations arise then the person who analyses and conclude that things can go better he can generate a better return with lower risk. Vice-versa when everyone thinks that things remain better forever than that is a period of painful losses.

The pendulum never continues to swing towards an extreme, it will be reversed from extreme. Extreme swing of the pendulum is itself responsible for the swing towards the opposite direction of the pendulum.

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Read for more detail: The Most Important Thing Illuminated by Howard Marks

 

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